Sheet Mask 101 & Review: Bel Mondo Beauty Facial Sheet Masks
After discovering Lonvitalite Sheet Masks (check out the review of their Coconut Milk Mask which I love here!) I was all for trying some more, high quality sheet masks. The reason I say high quality is because I have tried some cheaper alternatives (namely some drug-store Korean sheet masks) and they didn’t impressed me very much. Now I understand why this is – the sheet masks you choose have to be made using a material which adheres to the skin well and uses high-grade ingredients which work together to can actually penetrate into the deeper levels of your skin. Usually, facial sheet masks are made from these four materials – Fibre (cotton), Pulp (sometimes labelled as rayon cellulose), Hydro-Gel and Bio-cellulose.
Fibre masks are the cheapest sheet masks to manufacture and as a result, they don’t adhere to the skin very well. This also means that the ingredients embedded in the sheet mask serum will not penetrate into the skin very well because the fibre does not absorb the serum to it’s full capacity. They can also be a little course in texture. Cheaper drug-store sheet masks will most likely be made out of fibre and this would explain why they never blew me away. The ‘next best’ material to make sheet masks out of is Pulp. Pulp is also quite inexpensive to manufacture but it has better absorption capabilities than fibre. The downsides to pulp masks is that they can dry out pretty quickly and might also not adhere to the skin very well.
Premium sheet masks tend to be made out of Hydro Gel. Hydro-Gel masks are made from two different components, have excellent absorption capabilities and contour well to the skin. They are quite expensive to manufacture and hence the more pricey price tag that accompanies them. The other premium ‘material’ for making sheet masks is Bio-cellulose. Bio-cellulose was actually developed for medical applications (to cover burns and wounds, to aid healing) and as such, isn’t commonly used for sheet masks. It is expensive but it adheres to the skin exceptionally well (not an inch of skin is missed). It is actually an all natural material made by cultured bacteria (may sound funky – but I promise you it isn’t!) and as a result, is biodegradable. Bio-cellulose can hold 100-times its weight in fluid and so it makes sense that it would be a fantastic material for face masks! As you may have guessed, Bel Mondo’s sheet masks are made from bio-cellulose. The Bio-cellulose itself feels a little gel-like to me and is very ‘moldable’ – once it’s adhered to your skin, you don’t need to worry about it ‘flopping off’. It’s also flexible, so it’s not uncomfortable or tight feeling once applied to your skin. Along with a fantastic formulas – you can be sure you are getting salon quality face mask treatments at home if you use a bio-cellulose sheet mask. Let’s be honest – if we are finally setting some time aside during the week to use a face mask, well it better be good (says every city or busy girl out there)! I find it really difficult to schedule in some time at a beauty salon – and added to that, I haven’t found one which I am totally comfortable and happy with, so I’m all for salon quality, at home treatments! This is where Bel Mondo Sheet Masks tick all the boxes!
I found out about Bel Mondo sheet masks thanks to Futurederm, and I knew that if Nicki rated these guys, they must be good! At the moment, Bel Mondo offer three different types of face sheet masks, anti-ageing, calming and ultra-hydrating.
Let’s first take a look at Bel Mondo’s ultra-hydrating mask, as this one was the first that I tried!
Before I begin telling you how the ingredients in this face mask work and how wonderful it is – I have a confession to make. I was sooo excited to try these face masks that I didn’t quite read the directions on the box carefully enough and made a near fatal mistake. I decided to fess up to you beauty bees, so that you don’t make the same mistake I did! The directions clearly state to remove the mask from the individually sealed packet and to use the middle layer of the mask. There are two outer layers, which protect the Bio-cellulose mask. You will know which is the middle layer, as the Bio-cellulose face mask itself feels gel like and a little slippery. The two outer layers are more rough and have this lattice like texture to them. Discard the lattice textured outer layers. I of course, took the mask out of the packet and didn’t discard the two outer layers of the face mask and whacked the whole thing onto my face *face palm*. I obviously didn’t get the full benefits of the face mask during my first attempt, which annoys me greatly… Luckily, I learnt the second time around 🙂
The Bel Mondo Ultra-Hydrating Mask is just full of amazing hydrators. Here is the full ingredient list:
Ingredients: Purified water, glycerin, sodium hyaluronate, propylene glycol, sodium alginate, Dansonyl (plant extract), ceramide gel, chlorphenesin, Skinasensyl (acetyl tetrapeptide-15, sodium citrate), rice extract, Hydromanil (moisturizing compound derived from tara seed), olive oil, hyaluronic acid, biosol, panthenol, fragrance.
Hyaluronic acid is a well known hydrator, which holds up 1000 times worth it’s weight in water. Sodium hyaluronate is very similar, however is a little more stable than hyaluronic acid. Both are humectant moisturisers, drawing water from the air into the deeper levels of your skin. If there isn’t much moisture in the air however, they could potentially leave your skin dry if not paired with other types of moisturisers (such as occlusive moisturisers). Sodium hyaluronate is great because it works in both high and low humidity environments. While hydrators like this may not be anti-ageing as such (repairing damaged skin), they allow your skin to work at full capacity, renewing skin cells, stimulating collagen product etc. so inadvertently, if you want your skin to look and work it’s best – hydrators are crucial! The Ultra-Hydrating Mask also contains ceramides, which I spoke about in my Skin SOS post. Ceramides are lipids which are found in-between skin cells – they’re often described as the ‘glue’ which hold cells together – so they help to make up your lipid barrier and keep cells strong. Rice extract is a new ingredient on my beauty watch list, as it’s moisturising (as an emollient – softening the skin) but also a anti-oxidant (gamma orzanol is the antioxidant name). Not only this, rice extract also stabilizes fatty acids and oils already found in the skin, optimising the hydration levels already found in your skin. Olive oil is another emollient and an anti-inflammatory, while Dansonyl (more commonly known as Baobab) contains water binding agents to provide even more skin suppleness!
How did I find this mask? If you suffer from any kind of flaky-dry skin, this mask is for you! It’s intensely hydrating, without any oiliness or grease. My skin felt soooo insanely soft after using this mask and I think I also looked less tired as a result. I love that the Bio-cellulose mask itself sits comfortable on your skin and also covers your under eye area. As I suffer from under-eye circles (and chronic tiredness) I know that my poor eye area is also being treated with this mask.
*Tip* Bel Mondo recommends leaving this mask on your skin for 20 minutes. Different ingredients and their delivery systems vary in the time they need to reach the deeper layers of your skin. All ingredients have a threshold when it comes to penetrating your skin, but it’s generally thought that your skin needs 5-60 minutes to absorb all the possible nutrients contained within a mask. After about 20 minutes, your skin should have absorbed about 80% of the mask nutrients, while at 60 minutes, your skin should have absorbed about 99% of the nutrients (I read this tip on Futurederm). Because these Bel Mondo masks are soooo comfortable, keeping them on for an hour isn’t to much trouble – it just comes down to how much time you have. I will definitely be trying to keep these on for and hour and hopefully life won’t get to much in the way 😉 *Note* If your mask contains AHA/BHA or other acids, only leave the mask on for as long as the manufacturer indicates. Otherwise, you may over exfoliate your skin and do more damage than good!
Once you have removed the mask from your skin, massage in any of the product remaining on your skin. There’s always a little bit of serum left in the foil packet, and I use this extra bit of serum on my chest area and wherever else I can put it! A pack of four Ultra-Hydrating Masks costs $45 US from Bel Mondo official web shop.
Bel Mondo’s next face mask offering is their Calming Mask. If I had known about Bel Mondo’s Calming Mask a few weeks ago, I would have included it in my Skin SOS post (How to Soothe Red, Irritated & Hypersensitive Skin). The Calming Mask contains some great soothing ingredients, to both calm the skin and reduce inflammation – chamomile, allantoin and green tea (also an anti-oxidant). The mask is of course very moisturising also, which is very important in rebuilding the skins lipid barrier (so that the skin can protect itself against external aggressors). Your skin usually becomes irritated or hyper-sensitive when your lipid barrier has been weakened. Sodium hyaluronate, glycerin, olive oil and rice extract will moisturise and rehydrate your skin. Biophytex on the other hand, boosts microcirculation and soothes the skin. Skinasensyl is a tetrapeptide that makes skin less reactive to external stimuli, and reduces sensations of pain and discomfort.
Ingredients: Purified water, glycerin, sodium hyaluronate, propylene glycol, sodium alginate, Biophytex (plant extracts), chlorphenesin, Skinasensyl (acetyl tetrapeptide-15, sodium citrate), Laricyl, chamomile, rice extract, green tea, Caresoft (purified curculigo orchioides root), olive oil, tocopherol, allantoin, biosol, fragrance.
I gave one of these Calming Masks to a friend of mine who experiences hypersensitivity quite often. She said that this mask didn’t aggravate her skin (big plus there!) and so there was no stinging or discomfort. Some of the redness and swelling she was experiencing reduced and her skin felt a whooole lot more comfortable after using this mask. That constant tightness and stinging had subsided. If you are experiencing a bad episode of hypersensitivity, you may have to use this masks a couple of times a week, to help get your skin back into shape. I used the mask after spending to much time in the sun (I wasn’t burnt per se – but I think my skin was dehydrated and just stressed from the onslaught of the elements) and my skin felt soothed, hydrated and comfortable again. A box of four Calming Masks will also cost you $45 US from Bel Mondo’s official web shop.
Last but not leat, we have the Anti-ageing Mask!
You may be wondering why in the world I would be using a anti-ageing face mask when I am ‘only’ 25 (I’m turning 26 this week and have not accepted this fact just yet!). Smart skin care is all about prevention! With all the wonderful progress that has been made in dermatology, you would be mad to not take advantage of the high-tech ingredients and treatments out there. ‘Fixing’ damaged skin is so much more difficult than preventing damage, and using anti-ageing products suited to your skins concerns is more than ok! I don’t believe in ‘age appropriate’ skin routines or products, I would suggest that you use products that target skin concerns instead.
Bel Mondo has utilizes some great actives in their anti-ageing mask. Syn-Tacks specifically, is a combination of peptides which boosts cellular communication. Syn-Tack has been shown to stimulate proteins of the Dermal-Epidermal Junction where the uppermost layer of the skin meets the underlying layers. This means that cells can communicate more efficiently and work on repairing the skins structure – skin tone, firmness and wrinkles. Orange stem cells have been included in the mask to help encourage the production of elastin. Tocopherol is a form of vitamin E and is a powerful anti-oxidant, which helps reinforce the skins lipid barrier. Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-12 is a lipopeptide which helps form layers around and in between skin cells, creating a barrier that keeps natural moisture intact and prevents it from escaping. Palmitoyl Tripeptide strengthens connective tissue and lessens wrinkle effects. Your skin should also be incredibly hydrated after using this mask as it contains sodium hyaluronate (which hopefully you will be looking out for now 😉 ), glycerin, soluble collagen (protein that draws moisture to skin while providing a protective shield) and olive oil. Alpha lipoic acid is a powerful antioxidant that helps fight free radicals and repair aged skin AND retinyl palmitate is a combination of retinol (Vitamin A) and palmitic acid. Retinyl palmitate is a skin cell regulator, and one of the primary antioxidants found naturally in skin.
Ingredients: Purified water, glycerin, sodium hyaluronate, propylene glycol, sodium alginate, soluble collagen, chlorphenesin, Skinasensyl (acetyl tetrapeptide-15, sodium citrate), Syn-Tacks (palmitoyl dipeptide-5, palmitoyl dipeptide-6), Citrustem (orange stem cells), olive oil, tocopherol, palmitoyl tripeptide, palmitoyl hexapeptide, biosol, retinyl palmitate, alpha lipoic acid, fragrance.
I tried Bel Mondo’s Anti-ageing mask and also gave one to my mum to see what she thought (I’m pretty sure she will be using the remaining two from the 4 pack lol). My mum said her skin felt very smooth, plump and hydrated. She works outside a lot and unfortunately I don’t think she always wears sunscreen. The elements make her skin very dry and so if she says that her skin feels and looks hydrated (for longer than just an hour or two) than you are onto an excellent hydrating product! I’m hoping that with more uses of this mask, she notices a long-term difference in her skin. I of course love this mask also, even though the effects may not be as noticeable on my skin.
*Note* As this face mask contains vitamin A, I wouldn’t apply a chemical exfoliant to the skin afterwards (AHAs and BHAs do not mix with retinol or any kind of vitamin A). As this mask contains actives, apply a regular moisturiser over the top or a rich night cream. I would also advise to use this mask in the evenings as vitamin A can make your skin more sensitive to the suns rays.
A box of four Anti-ageing Masks also costs $45 US from Bel Mondo’s official web shop.
You can also by the masks individually for $12 each (the box of four masks will save you $3). At the moment, Bel Mondo doesn’t offer international shipping from their web shop 🙁 BUT they are working on sourcing an Australian supplier for their goodies and I have a *feeling* that this will happen very soon! As soon as it does I will let you beauty bees know 🙂 Bel Mondo is a smaller brand which has a really enthusiastic and innovative team behind it. It’s obvious that they care about the products that they make and the quality of these masks is superb. I really hope you all get to try them soon!
Are you a fan of sheet masks beauties? Which one would be your pick out of the three Bel Mondo offerings? Let me know what masks you rate highly, as I am currently obsessed with face masks!
Until next time,
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